mt-st-helens-NOW

Hiking down towards Spirit Lake in late October 2005, I found the sheer scale of destruction on May 18, 1980 incomprehensible. The shell of a recently revived Mount St. Helens puffed out steam across the water. In the eerie stillness, since there were no visual cues to lend any sense of distance or size, I might have been looking at a model of the real thing. This distorted perspective was resolved when I pulled out Boyd Ellis’s postcard. In his photo of an austere morning with the mountain reflected in all its glory, the serrated edges of tree-lined ridges provided a yardstick to measure by. And then it all made sense.

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